Since our faith is in Jesus Christ and that gives us hope - the hope of eternity with Him, the hope of His Spirit guiding us each and every day, the hope that He is in control, the hope that the Enemy does not win in the end and receives his punishment - then we can rejoice. We know our future and it is fantastic!
But for now, we suffer. Now there are varying levels of suffering and if you are looking here for an answer to that one, I do not have it. Jim and I always say we are blessed beyond what we deserve because we have not had to suffer much at all. Our difficulties have been light compared to what so many others have endured. Would I want to trade places with others less fortunate to diminish a sense of guilt over an "easier" life? Not really. Do I wish there was less suffering in the world? Absolutely! Some have brought the suffering on themselves by the choices they have made, but many have just had to endure living in a fallen world where suffering exists. And it will continue to exist and in fact get worse befor it gets better.
One of the hopes through suffering is as I stated above, it will not endure forever because we know one day the Enemy will be stopped. But that also may not happen in our lifetime. So we must persevere, but we do not do it alone.
Another hope in suffering is that God promises that He is molding and shaping us into the people He needs us to be to serve Him best. Isaiah 64:2 says:
"Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand."There is so much hope in that there is truly a purpose to our life, even in our suffering. We are being made into a better version of ourself if we allow perseverance to grow within us….if we let that perseverance develop our character, and the person we are is then our hope to endure to the end faithful and committed to following our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Therefore, we can rejoice in our sufferings. Not because of them, but in them. For we know that we are not alone in this journey of suffering or health for God has "poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." (vs 5)
The shaping and molding of our humble clay bodies through suffering is not enjoyable. Sometimes it comes with a pain we simply do not believe we can endure. But through the power of the presence of the Holy Spirit, we can. His love endures forever, and by His power, we can, too.
Father, suffering is a part of our life because we chose to rebel against You. Thank You, that even in the suffering there is joy and hope because You have a much bigger plan for us. Help us to persevere, grow in character and hope, and remain in the power of Your love. So be it.
- Read Job and his encounter with suffering.
- How does positivity affect our outlook on our suffering? How do we remain positive in suffering?
- How can you give hope to those who are suffering more than you?